Justification is proving oneself to be right or reasonable; pronouncing oneself free from guilt and blame (thank you, Mr. Webster) but I also heard it defined as “the standard of measure by which we appear to be holy.” It’s not a direct quote, but it’s my paraphrase as I heard it from Charles Stanley and quickly wrote down (as best as I could) a few weeks ago.

I’ve been mulling over that thought for weeks now. I love it. I hate it. It’s true.

Each of us, no matter what we do, whether it’s…

  • Positive
  • Negative
  • Helpful
  • Sinful
  • Enabling
  • Kind
  • Mean-spirited
  • Making a point
  • Sharing our “view”
  • In a relationship
  • Out of a relationship
  • __________

…..we will justify it to fit our needs, make us look better, and ultimately tell ourselves (as we try to convince others and God) that we are holy and really OK!

Isn’t it so true? Let’s look at a few fast examples:

  • People in bad relationships find all kinds of ways to make it right, make it sound right, make it look right….even though it looks, feels, and is wrong. (Everyone else can see it.)
  •  Parents not disciplining their typically able and developing children have every excuse for why they don’t deal with the misbehavior: my child is fussy, they’re tired, they’re having a bad day, we’re waiting for the diagnosis, I’m tired, I’ve had it, etc. (Everyone knows you’re just not doing what you know you should.)
  •  Choose one that applies: lying, cheating, stealing, manipulating, enabling, committing adultery, slandering, gossiping, etc. We all put our own “spin” on why it’s right, OK, and sensible….and it’s usually due to the “other” person who’s made me do it – often because we feel our own needs aren’t being met fully and properly.(Watch carefully as brows furrow and eyebrows rise. It’s their look of utter shock as we think we’ve fooled them!)

AND….we all do it. Catch yourself. Then let’s be honest with our self and instead of justifying our actions, sins, mistakes, preferences, comforts, demands, etc. – own up to what is true, right and honorable. It would change us, our families, and our culture. It would mean we’re taking life and our self seriously. Dare we?

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